How to Choose the Best Exercise and Weight-Loss Programs Online

Online chat groups offer accountability and support.
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Lose 15 pounds in two weeks. Eat cake and lose weight. This celebrity fitness plan is right for you. The Internet is swamped with gimmicky diet-and-exercise programs that make grand promises to improve your physique with minimal effort. It can be difficult to know where to spend your hard-earned cash. The truth is weight loss and exercise take hard work and effort, so look for a program that will provide support on your journey.

Step 1

Talk to your physician first. The willowy silhouette of runway models may give you a false sense of what is normal. You may be healthier with a little pudge than the fashionista strutting around in size-zero jeans. Your doctor will be able to calculate your body mass index based on your height and weight and offer weight-loss goals. Ask her whether medications you are on are affecting your weight, what you need to eat to stay healthy, how much you should exercise and if she can recommend a diet-and-exercise program.

Step 2

Look for a program run by professionals. Get diet advice from a licensed nutritionist not a con artist looking to make a few bucks selling impossible promises. Exercise tips should come from a fitness professional. Call the company and ask for information about the education, certification and experience of the staff.

Step 3

Crunch numbers and come up with a budget. Some online exercise and weight-loss programs are quite expensive because they offer intense counseling, meals plans and food delivered to your door. Others plans are free. Take an honest look at what you are willing and able to invest in diet and exercise.

Step 4

Be wary of programs that require the use of drugs or supplements. Not only is pill-popping expensive, but it can be very dangerous. Herbal supplements may interact with other medications and put your health at risk.

Step 5

Look for a program that will help you to be accountable. One of the perks of an online program is that you can take your weight-loss plan anywhere. Calorie calculators, meal records and exercise trackers are tools that may help you reach your goals.

Step 6

Assess your personal needs. You may need detailed meal plans or want the flexibility to eat what you want within a calorie limit. Perhaps you're comfortable flying solo, or maybe you need the help of online mentors to stick with an exercise routine. Online weight-loss programs are available for almost every personality type if you can identify what you need to succeed.

Step 7

Avoid crash diets and unrealistic exercise programs. The best diet-and-exercise plan is one that sets you up for a lifetime of good health. Choose an online program that incorporates all the major food groups and adjusts calorie consumption to match your physical activity level.

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